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A Case Study of the Miranda V. Arizona Case: a Book Review of Swanson, Territo and Taylor

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In their book Criminal Investigation, Swanson, Territo & Taylor (2006) presents Miranda v. Arizona as one of the most debatable cases in the United States history. The case which involved police interrogation raises ethical and constitutional questions more especially because of what is referred to as “Supreme Court ruling of all the time.” What makes the case still relevant in the 21st century is because it still influences the present constitution and policing. The paper will offer a briefly exploration the case as discussed in the book mentioned above. Still, how the case affects or influences the present law and policies will make the major part of the discussion.

According to Swanson, Territo & Taylor (2006), the Miranda v. Arizona case happened back in the year 1966. The Ernesto Miranda had been accused of raping and kidnapping. When he was brought in police custody, he was interrogated for a period of two hours and his confession was written and signed. When the case was forwarded in the court, the written document was forwarded to the judge as evidence. This happened despite that the Attorney General had objected the evidence. This is because the police officers had admitted they did not advice Miranda of his rights before interrogations. But still, the jury found Miranda guilty. Following this judgment, it is indisputable that the court did not observe The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution which states, “No person should be compelled to witness in any criminal case against himself.”

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But still, the Fifth Amendment still raised both the ethical and constitutional questions. For instance, does the Amendment protection extend to police interrogation of the suspect? Still, how is police supposed to solve crimes and promote safety if the criminal defendant is not ready to confess? In response to these questions, the Supreme court introduced the exceptional rules still used today: Most common was exclusionary rule. Although this rule is not found in the constitution, the court can still use some evidence from the policy only if the interrogations were not characterized by involuntary confession, beating and threats. In other words, the defendant should not be coerced to confess. This rule is sometimes referred to poisonous tree rule. Equally to note from the rule, the court cannot terminate the case simply because some other evidences were discovered. For instance, the murder case cannot be terminated simply because the police officers violated the fifth Amendment act. Technically, most of constitution violations does not lead to termination of the proceedings. This might as well explain why Miranda was still convicted guilty. After the Miranda case, the judiciary system also decided that Miranda rule can apply where the suspect is accused of firearms and other threats that might pose the danger to the public. Generally, the Miranda rule can allow the police coerce such a suspect to confess under what was defined as public safety emergency. But then again, the police must first give Miranda warnings.

Another major issue that sounded the trumpet was that of Supreme court of Arizona denied the appeal of the defendant case for the reason that, he did not request for the counsel. As stipulated in the United States constitution, the suspect has the constitutional right to ask for counsel in his/her defense. This right is defined in the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution. However, it is disputable how the counsel performs at various stages of the case. In most cases, their responsibilities are redefined and the structures are changed so that the defendant rights can be compromised. For instance, the court had a responsibility of asking the defendant to be represented the state counsel. This issue still raised one of the most heated discussions “validating the Right to counsel. “ Generally, Miranda case is an expression the challenges that were facing the counsel defense system. According to Swanson, Territo & Taylor (2006), the Miranda case may have been influenced by state machinery simply because, how could the court systems violate such constitutional rights and get so easily ways with it if not state controlled? Although Miranda case did not significantly impact of the “Right to counsel,” most of the citizens today feel that we need to validate the role of the state-counsels because they may as well prove unworthy, more especially if they cannot represent the defendant in the court appeal.


Conclusively, Miranda v. Arizona is among the most debatable court cases that happened in the United States history. This is because at some points, the case violated the constitution rights documented in the Fifth and Sixth Amendment of the United States constitution. Also, the case is popularly known for its impacts in the 21st century criminal policies. But still, the current constitution does not provide solutions of how similar case would be solved. Besides, we are still facing a challenge of the manner in which policy gather evidence and the procedure in which the state counsel is representing the defendants. This explains why the right to counsel, fifth and sixth amendments of the U.S constitution remains most contested topics of discussion even 50n years after the case of Miranda v. Arizona.


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